BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Three years after two Montgomery County children vanished, their mother has been accused of murder.
Sarah and Jacob Hoggle disappeared in 2014. Their bodies were never found. Their mother, Catherine Hoggle, was long-suspected but never charged in their deaths until this week.
WJZ’s Kimberly Eiten was at the Rockville courthouse Friday, where she says prosecutors were under a deadline to make their case for murder, or let Hoggle walk.
Hoggle has spent the last three years at Clifford T. Perkins, the state’s psychiatric hospital, since her children vanished. She has also been repeatedly being found mentally incompetent to stand trial.
But she appeared in the courtroom over video Friday, after she was formally charged with murdering her children on Thursday.
“We would have never sought the indictment if we didn’t believe she was responsible for the death of these children,” said Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy.
A judge ordered her to be held without bond at the psychiatric hospital where she’s already been for years, since shortly after Sarah and Jacob were last seen.
Doctors are now on a five-year deadline to get her competent enough to stand trial.
“I don’t think she’s guilty of murder,” says her mother, Lindsey Hoggle. “I believe in, you know, justice, so when she’s capable, she’s going to have to face that.”
Lindsey Hoggle says this should still be a missing persons case, not a murder case.
“I almost vomited, you know,” said the children’s grandmother, Debbie Beckward. “I mean, it was… to hear the word murder is too much in itself.”
Sarah and Jacob’s father, Troy Turner, also spoke at the courthouse Friday.
“Catherine Hoggle has murdered my children,” he said. “And I hope Sarah and Jacob get the justice they deserve…that’s what it needs to be about from beginning to end, getting justice for my babies.”
Turner, other family members and McCarthy all agree: The time has come to seek answers.
Prosecutors say they do believe that there will come a day when doctors say Catherine Hoggle is ready to stand trial, though they have no idea what the timeline on that will be.
The state has not said what kind of evidence it has to tie Hoggle to the crime.